EDWARD R. DUENAS is a retired Guam senator and former Adjutant General of the Guam National Guard. He served for nine consecutive terms (18 years) in the Guam Legislature before he was appointed to command the Guard in 1992.
As a member of the Republican majority in his first four terms as a law maker, he chaired a committee that had oversight on Youth and Senior Citizens, Federal-Territorial Relations, and Military and Veterans Affairs. Among his many major legislation enacted into law were the creation of the Department of Youth Affairs, Department of Military Affairs and the Division of Senior Citizens in the Department of Public Health and Social Services.
In a move to enhance greater cooperation and mutual support among the various island governments in Micronesia, he spearheaded the establishment of the Association of Pacific Islands Legislatures (APIL) in 1980 and also became its founding president for three years. Its initial member nations included Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Federated States of Micronesia (Chuuk, Yap, Ponape, Kosrae), Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Belau. Several years later, two other members -- the State of Hawaii and American Samoa -- joined the association.
With a strong passion to see Guam achieve greater political status, he authored the law that initially created the Guam Commission on Self-Determination which conducted the 1982 plebiscite on self-determination. That set the pace for a closer union with the U.S. and a formal request to be a U.S. Commonwealth. Legislation seeking that status had been introduced in Congress by the Guam Delegate but it got bogged down in negotiation between the federal representatives and the Guam commission.
A long-time proponent for Guam's full integration in the Union of States, he is now the chairman of the Guam Statehood Task Force advocating statehood in the coming self-determination plebiscite.
In July 1981, the Guam National Guard was officially established. With prior service in the U.S. Army, he joined the unit and earned a direct commission as a major in the Army Guard in 1982. Now a full colonel and having served three years as the Assistant Adjutant General, he was appointed the Adjutant General in 1992 by then-Gov. Joseph F. Ada and served for over two years in that position. He retired from Gov-Guam service in 1995 upon completion of his Guard tour of duty.
Before becoming a lawmaker, he served as press secretary to the late Gov. Carlos G. Camacho. He is a graduate of Marquette University and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.